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ICC Cricket Committee recommends ban on saliva to shine balls in post-Covid era

The ICC Cricket Committee recommended a number of changes to the existing ICC regulations to mitigate the risks posed by the coronavirus once cricket resumes. Chaired by Anil Kumble, the committee members got together via a video conference to discuss ways to maintain the match ball and the appointment of non-neutral referees and umpires in international games.

The recommendations will be presented to the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee for approval.


Points regarding the Match Ball: The ICC Cricket Committee heard from the Chair of the ICC Medical Advisory Committee Dr Peter Harcourt regarding the elevated risk of the transmission of the virus through saliva, and unanimously agreed to recommend that the use of saliva to polish the ball be prohibited.

The Committee also noted the medical advice that it is highly unlikely that the virus can be transmitted through sweat and saw no need to prohibit the use of sweat to polish the ball whilst recommending that enhanced hygiene measures are implemented on and around the playing field.


Points regarding the non-neutral Umpires and referees to international matches: Since 2002, officials appointed by the ICC must not be from the same country as the participating teams. Given the challenges of international travel with borders being closed, limited commercial flights, and mandatory quarantine periods, the Committee recommended that local match officials be appointed in the short-term.

The appointments will continue to be made via the ICC from local Elite and International Panel referees and umpires. Where there are no Elite Panel match officials in the country, the best local International Panel match officials will be appointed.

The Committee also recommended that the use of technology is increased to support the appointments of a wider pool of umpires from around the world and has proposed an additional DRS review per team per innings is introduced in each format as an interim measure.

This postgraduate in English Literature from Kolkata has taken on the tough task of limiting the mystic world of cricket to a few hundred words. A firm believer that Kohli is a wizard with the willow, she spends her time awaiting the next Indian spring triumph.

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